Saturday, November 24, 2012

PBS Fund-raisers...

I see PBS has gone back into fund-raising mode again.

Is there anything in the universe more incongruous than a PBS fund-raising drive?

What's on PBS during fund-raisers? Shows that are never part of normal programming. Cheap, popular psychology by two-bit therapists. How-to-get-rich pitches by speakers whose fortunes come from writing books and giving pitches on how to get rich. Opinionated, anti-fat nazis who just want to tell you how you should eat food that no one else eats. Chefs that can't cook their way out of a paper bag that's been soaking in warm water for 24 hours.

Really? PBS fund-raisers drive die-hard PBS fans such as myself to discover "normal" television or turn away to put more time into books (where more of my time is deserved anyway). While I'm gone, save for maybe a few quarters tossed over my shoulder on the way, I'm not there contributing. In fact, most of the time I confess I don't contribute out of disgust with what they're doing.

In years past, I was lured into giving by the broadcast of a few great Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes portrayals, a marathon run of Fawlty Towers, the promise of a mug embellished with PBS Mystery, Masterpiece Theatre or The MacNeal-Lehrer Newshour.

Fund-raisers used to be a time where the local PBS station's personnel made a connection with the local populace. Now it's all robotic broadcasts done by paid, D-rank speakers and actors nobody knows.

There must be an audience for the utter rubbish PBS puts on now, but it clearly isn't the people who watch PBS. I can imagine that someone unaware, for PBS fund-raisers aren't publicized, discovers this programming, likes it, contributes his bit resolving to adopt PBS only to find a few days later that PBS doesn't continue to broadcast this sort of thing. Which means that the next time this person sees it, he simply keeps on surfing.

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